November 11, 2006
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-- Lt Col John McCrae, MD (1972-1918)
October 23, 2006
Arrogance and stupidity
Senior US state department official Alberto Fernandez remarked during an interview with Al-Jazeera (in Arabic, of which language he is a speaker) that the US had acted with "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq. An amazing admission, and one which is so obviously true that the shock of hearing that a senior official has admitted it is very great.
The story now emerging, however, seems to be that Fernandez has been "got at" and has announced that he "seriously misspoke". Simultaneously, the state department says that Fernandez was "misquoted", although the Beeb's Monitoring Service say that the initial report (tallying with Fernandez's account) is accurate.
It's fascinating to watch the Bush propaganda machine rolling backwards and forwards over one of its mistakes, trying to squash it back into the ground. They have presumably calculated that the risk back home (where speakers of Arabic are var from numerous and hence where the lie can be controlled during the elections) is so small that it's worth going all out for the Pinnochio Cup yet again. Let's hope the mainstream US media don't shy away from this.
August 15, 2006
The Onion on "The War on Terrier" : men buy too many mobiles phones, charged with terror offenses
Except it isn't. It's real. It's the story of a low functioning WalMart clerk in Michigan getting suspicious because three Arab-looking guys bought 80 mobile phones. So she did what any right-thinking citizen would in Bush's New America: she called the cops. And gee whiz, those guys had 1,000 phones in the van. Now, the local cops seem to have been caught up in the "War on Terrier", and somehow established that this was part of an elaborate plot to destroy the Mackinac Bridge because the three guys also had pictures of the bridge in the van. No explosives, though, or anything resembling detailed and dastardly instructions from the controller of their terror cell. Yes, that's right, because mobile phones have been used as detonators elsewhere, apparently the more of them you have, the more dangerous they are. What, were they going to keep buying mobile phones and strategically hide them in the bridge infrastructure until the extra weight caused it to collapse? Or maybe put vibrating batteries in the the phones and ring them up on group call so that the bridge would wobble itself to death in a ghastly recollection of the Tacoma Straits Collapse (maybe that was an early mobile phone terror attack, too, with a time machine and everything)?
I somehow suspect that this is a bunch of entrepreneurial but none-too-bright immigrants who found that you can unlock the phones and resell them for more money, which the guys cottoned on to as a money-making scheme. I imagine that their mistake was to get a bit greedy. They may end up rueing the day they walked into that particular Michigan WalMart.
July 25, 2005
The Met : is lethal force now a part of life in London?
"I am very aware that minority communities are talking about a shoot-to-kill policy. It is only a shoot-to-kill-in-order-to-protect policy."
There are too many currently unanswered questions about Mr de Menezes death so far.
Posted by daen at 03:08 AM
July 01, 2005
Come to Copenhagen and say "Nej" to Bush on 6th July
StopBush.dk is promoting a demonstration outside the US Embassy in Copenhagen (at Dag Hammarskjölds Allé 24) at 2pm on 6 July, moving to Christiansborg (the Danish parliament building) at 3:45pm. Don't expect to get anywhere near Bush to make your voice heard: the security details will be phenomenal.
Anders Fogh is way out of line in his relationship with Bush. Some 80% of Danes are not in favour of Bush or his policies, and yet Anders Fogh continues to offer his unwavering and uncritical, almost slavish, support. Perhaps it is fear of economic (or maybe military) reprisals which motivates him : it certainly isn't democratic concerns. Or maybe he's been promised that Denmark will get a slice of the Iraqi oil pie if he's a good boy.
Bush's visit will overstrain the Copenhagen police force, lead to restrictions on free movement through Copenhagen and cause flight cancellations at Copenhagen airport. Why should people put up with these disruptions when most Danes don't want him here in the first place?
Posted by daen at 01:10 AM
June 09, 2005
The Downing Street Memo
"Bush wanted," according to the British intelligence chief -- fresh back from a trip to the White House -- "to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts," the memo continued, "were being fixed around the policy."
Posted by daen at 01:10 PM
June 06, 2005
A Dark Note
The upper limit of the Iraq Body Count has now gone above 25,000.
Posted by daen at 09:05 PM
June 02, 2005
Bush Scandal Names
Perrspectives recently held a "Name That Bush Scandal Contest". For example, for the Iraq WMD scandal, people suggested Weapon of Mental Deficiency, Wild Nukes Chase and (the winner) Iraq-style Dysfunction.
Posted by daen at 12:02 AM
May 19, 2005
US 'could win over Muslim world'
Apart from the unintended double meaning, isn't this another blinding glimpse of the bloody obvious, except to NeoCons who will be shocked and angry, as usual when anything critical of US government policies is discussed?
The US could improve its image among Muslims if it listened more, adopted a humbler tone and emphasised its aid programmes, a report says.
In related news, the World is shocked to find that the new Pope is not a protestant, and ramblers complain of the lack of woodside toilet facilities for bears.
Posted by daen at 08:30 PM
April 25, 2005
Life after oil : do yourself a favour and read this
Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash is a must-read. It not only makes sense of the world for me, in a lucid and non-conspiratorial way (and let's face it, the actions of the US government over the last few years are way beyond conspiracy theory), it offers advice as to how you can prepare for life after oil.
I reiterate : read it now : if you're under 40, you don't have much time left ...
Posted by daen at 12:34 AM
December 20, 2004
When you are standing at your hero’s grave,
Or near some homeless village where he died,
Remember, through your heart’s rekindling pride,
The German soldiers who were loyal and brave.
Men fought like brutes; and hideous things were done;
And you have nourished hatred, harsh and blind.
But in that Golgotha perhaps you’ll find
The mothers of the men who killed your son.
Siegfried Sassoon, November 1918
Posted by daen at 11:12 AM
November 11, 2004
11 November : Remembrance Day
DULCE ET DECORUM EST
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
--- Wilfred Owen March 18, 1893 - November 4, 1918
Posted by daen at 11:59 AM
October 27, 2004
georgewbush.com blocks overseas viewers
Netcraft reports that the Bush campaign web site rejects non-US visitors.
Posted by daen at 10:13 PM
September 04, 2004
US 2004 - overseas voter registration : deadline September 15th
Are you an American living abroad, or a dual national wanting to vote in November? Register for an overseas vote in the US 2004 elections. But you only have until September 15th, so get your butts in gear!
Posted by daen at 06:06 PM
April 25, 2004
The War Office
Somebody would like a word with you ...
Fellow Americans, Friends
We bid you a hearty welcome to our site and hope that you will find information and resources befitting the state of our great nation. Do not feel intimidated by the vast library of knowledge presented to you; we have made it easily accessible and fun (and no, you will not be monitored by the FBI or the CIA).
As the leader of the world we have to set an example for those not so fortunate to reside within our borders. America has, and always will be the chaperone of justice and liberty to other peoples, and I am the custodian of these good principles. Presently we are a nation at war, as we have been for most of the 20th century. That is what makes us special. Not that we make war, but that we care.
I therefore urge you, dear visitor, to allow us the chance to guide you to a better understanding of who we are, but more importantly, of who this extraodinary nation of Americans are. We hope that a greater power will protect you in these turbulent times and wish you all the best for 2004.
(Visit The Rockall Times for a similar British-themed objective viewpoint ...)
Posted by daen at 10:40 PM